Battery Life

Overall performance is pretty much what you’d expect given the components, but one area where the Vostro V131 does acquit itself quite well is in battery life. The 65Wh battery is slightly larger than average, and for a 13.3” chassis it means you can last a long time between charges. How long? If “all day computing” is anything over eight hours (in light use), the V131 certainly reaches that mark, at least in certain workloads.

Battery Life - Idle

Battery Life - Internet

Battery Life - H.264 Playback

Relative Battery Life - Idle

Relative Battery Life - Internet

Relative Battery Life - H.264

We measured just under nine hours of idle battery life at our 100 nits brightness setting (48% in Windows’ control panel). Internet battery life comes very close to eight hours, while H.264 playback will get you over 5.5 hours of movies. The above charts are only a small selection of the laptops we’ve tested, but Mobile Bench has more results, so let’s look at the bigger picture.

Out of all the laptops we’ve tested in the past couple of years, the Internet battery life ranks near the top—only Atom (with a similar size battery) or some of the ASUS U-series laptops last longer. Idle battery life isn’t quite as impressive, with some ULV/CULV options along with more Atom netbooks surpassing the Vostro, but then idle battery life also isn’t particularly useful if you’re using a laptop. As far as H.264 battery life goes, the V131 again places near the top.

If you prefer a level playing field where we factor in battery capacities, you can also find those charts in Mobile Bench. Relative Idle Battery Life has many Atom and CULV/ULV laptops ahead, but the V131 still performance admirably. Relative Internet Battery Life has the V131 just out of the top 10—number 11 of 112 or so tested laptops. Relative H.264 Battery Life is even better, with the Vostro sitting in the #7 spot overall (for now). In terms of relative battery life, the V131 is right in the mix with the Brazos and Atom laptops we’ve tested, and it’s the second place result out of Sandy Bridge laptops (surpassed only by the Sony VAIO SB).

Power Use

If you prefer looking at power numbers rather than battery life, the Vostro V131 consumes around 7.3W idle, 8.2W for general Internet use, and 11.2W for H.264 playback. Those are all low load numbers, of course; if you put a full load on the system doing CPU video transcoding or gaming, you’ll use a lot more power. Under load, using a Kill-A-Watt meter, we measured a peak draw of 45W in the x264 encoding second pass test, and 49W max looping 3DMark06. (If you factor in power adapter efficiency of around 80-85%, that represents actual power use of 36W-38W for CPU intensive workloads or 39W-42W for gaming.)

Temperatures

With a moderate dual-core CPU and no discrete graphics, temperatures are nothing to worry about. Even at maximum load, the CPU sits at a warm but hardly alarming 74C. And if you’re just running office tasks, the CPU will rarely get to that level.

Noise Levels

Considering there’s no discrete graphics chip, it shouldn’t be too surprising that noise levels are quite good. Idle noise is slightly higher than some laptops, but 32.3dB (in a ~30dB noise floor) isn’t bad. Put a heavy load on the CPU and/or GPU and fan noise will hit 36.5dB after a minute or so, and under heavier/prolonged loads the maximum noise we measured is 39.0dB. All of the noise measurements are taken at around 15” in front of the laptop.

Vostro V131: Let’s See the Benchmarks Dell Vostro V131: Not a Good LCD
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  • Penti - Saturday, October 29, 2011 - link

    Your supposed to make a backup/rescue disc with the supplied software, it usually have some kind of rescue partition too, using other media is always forbidden on OEM-computers and are essentially the same as running unlicensed. If you really need it Dell might supply a disc for your modell if you ask, but just might. Reply
  • agent2099 - Saturday, October 29, 2011 - link

    If I remove the original hard drive I assume the rescue partition will still be in the laptop, perhaps some kind of storage soldered onto the motherboard.

    If that's the case will it allow me to install from the rescue partition directly to the SSD without hassle.

    I'm surprised this isn't a more talked about topic as it seems replacing hard drives is common in laptops. I guess everyone just has a spare DVD of Windows 7 lying around the house.
    Reply
  • Penti - Sunday, October 30, 2011 - link

    Your supposed to make your backup, moving your preinstalled Windows to a SSD is fully possible. Not optimal but you just have to buy a business-laptop with media included (optional) if that's not good enough if you don't want to ask for a disc, it's as much a Microsoft issue as a OEM-issue. Using other media isn't allowed. As said. It's a pain but cloning your preinstalled Windows or install a warez-copy isn't insurmountable. Businesses also needs a volume license to handle their OS's.

    Or as they do offer it you can just ask them for a rescue disc in accordance to their rules regarding that.
    "Dell Customers can now request a set of backup discs containing the factory-installed operating system as well as the device drivers and utilities specific to your system.

    *Requests are limited to one (1) set of backup discs per system purchased.
    *The backup discs requested must match the operating system that was factory installed on the original order."

    What's more depressing are that there usually aren't any clean or retail-like installation discs provided. By supplying recovery rather then installation. OEM-specific drivers are another matter. That don't hurt what your whining about though, if you request a disc or if you burn out a few dvd-/+r you can just use them to restore the system to a SSD or you can just clone your drive (with your backup tool of choice) to a external drive and restore from that ones you have put in the SSD. Users who know enough to change out drives will probably know enough to both make backups and rescue discs before they install it. Ordinary home users can probably just use the restore partition/function if they screw up and has no disc. Or just order one. Hardly life or death just a nuisance.
    Reply
  • Zap - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    I have a Vostro V131 sitting here (just got, haven't even powered it on yet) and it does come with discs.
    1) Trend Micro (useless)
    2) Dell branded Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit (this is the disc you are looking for)
    3) Dell branded APPLICATION "For Reinstalling DigitalPersona Personal Fingerprint Software (fingerprint reader)
    4) Dell branded Resource Media "Contents: Device drivers: Utilities"
    5) Dell branded Resource Media "Webcam Central"
    Of course it doesn't come with a way to use the discs, but that's what my external USB optical drive is for. Once the SSD shows up, I'll probably be using discs 2 and 4.
    Reply
  • ixelion - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    toshiba hard drives are horrible, failure rate is insane. Disapointed to see another vendor using them probably cheap$ Reply
  • Penti - Saturday, October 29, 2011 - link

    While I don't totally rule out a Vostro in low-end business, small businesses and for example one-computer-per-child schemes at secondary education level, junior high or equivalent it sure doesn't seem worth it compared to cheaper Lenovo models like Lenovo L520 kinda ThinkPad that you can actually get with a "high-res" screen, 1600x900 for about 850 dollars (864 USD right now on the web, add another 150 USD to have it properly spec out regarding BT, network and RAM though) both 1600x900 screen and docking support (which means you can hook up a screen of more then 1920x1200 if you happen to have that). A Dell Latitiude E5420 might be more interesting with a upgraded screen though. That is about $859 right now on the web for Core i5-2410M, 4GB DDR3, 320GB and 1 year basic warranty. Even if you have pretty basic demands though 1600x900 screens there appears to be a few options to choose for business/prosumer instead of the Dell, Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba and HP models that don't. If you really like a compact 132 there is also the 1100 dollar Asus UX31* now too. Seams like a small stretch. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, October 30, 2011 - link

    Fixed, thanks! Reply
  • Jehnavi24 - Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - link

    Dell Vostro V131 is basically a good, cheap business laptop, but boasts some of the great features that make it stand somewhere in the market.
    http://www.techiecop.com/
    Reply
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